With children and young adolescents having an irrational fear of the dentist’s chair, more parents are finding it hard to schedule a visit to a dentist. Walker Pediatric Dentistry says a devoted, comprehensive and preventive pediatric dental care needs to make each visit for children fun and educational.
But with children and teenagers following an active lifestyle, trips to the dentist may become a little more frequent. It’s imperative for their physical and social development to join clubs and engage in sports activities. However, like any other physical activity, accidents and injury are expected in sports.
According to statistics, 22,000 dental injuries occur annually in children. Sports activities are the most common cause of these injuries in children aged 7 to 12. Of all the sports, baseball and basketball cause the biggest number of dental injuries.
Patients usually report getting their teeth snagged on the basketball net while slam dunking; a story that almost 40 surveyed dentists share. Another study says 80% of dental injuries commonly involve one or both front teeth, tongue, and cheek.
Protecting Teeth from Sport Injury
If a tooth has been damaged in a sporting activity, immediate treatment is paramount. Minor damage, such as chips and cracks, can be repaired with tooth-colored materials that are nearly as strong as the original tooth. Costly dental injuries due to sports happen more to children and adolescents, rather than adults. Depending on the sport, there is available sports gear to protect children and adolescents.
Customized mouthguards offer the best protection. Although pricey, these high-quality mouthguards prevent oral injuries by absorbing and dispersing the energy of the impact. These were commonly used only by boxers in the early 1900s. Now, it is a required safety equipment in many sports. The American Dental Association advocates the use of mouthguards and says that these devices can prevent about 200,000 injuries each year.
Helmets are a must-have for sports that naturally involve speed or impact, such as football, hockey, skating, and cycling. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends field masks for players of baseball. Helmets vary in different sports and need to be fitted correctly.
With proper protection, the benefits of a healthy and active lifestyle can be enjoyed safely. Safety gears prevent sports-related dental injuries, ensuring children’s safety and good oral health.